Reaching into the Back of the Pantry

Reaching into the back of the pantry, what do I touch? It’s an old superball all sticky with David’s little boy hands, and it’s been waiting there for more than forty years. His favorite superball. I almost remember the day he lost it, how he was so frustrated and little-boy sad.

The swirling colors on the ball are hidden under dirt and dust, but it still has that rubber smell he liked at the magic age of seven. He loved this superball. It’s so small and dense, I think that, when it bounced so easily and so high, it made him feel like a superboy. He was small and concentrated too, that child I once knew better than anyone in the world.

How can my son, who is forty-seven, be the same being, but so radically different from that beautiful boy I would give anything to see again? How can I, too, be the same but completely different from the fiercely protective young mother with her whole life ahead? This ball in my hand takes me to them, those people in the past we came from. Time travel by means of a superball stuck in the back of the pantry for over forty years.

The physicists say time depends on where you are standing in the cosmos. So I’ll just move over, in my superpower called the imagination, to the spot where I can see David was he was seven years old. I’m a single mother who sometimes panics at the total responsibility for another human being, but this morning as I sip my coffee, and David bounces that dang superball all over the kitchen, I’m content. I’m deeply grateful he came to me, this boy of stars with the sweetest face and Brazilian eyes so deeply dark I could look into them for hours.

Then the sticky superball—good grief!— bounces right into my perfect cup of coffee! Which spills, in a slow motion film clip, onto the kitchen table. I jump up with a yell and then there is an instant of pure suspension, when neither of us has any idea how the scene will go. But I burst out laughing, and a millisecond later, so does David. Then we’re howling in the morning kitchen sunlight, until we double up, until we fall down laughing, holding our bellies, united in joy. Oh yes, I remember the energy between us. Even if the ball never landed in the coffee as it did in this time journey, I remember now, the delightful play of energy between us. I experience again the motherbond that transformed me from girl to woman.

And how is it, when the coffee erupts from the cup, that I can laugh? Why am I able to treat the experience so lightly, instead of with the frustration or impatience I often showed during those years? Because I came back to this kitchen of our young selves from my future appreciation of the precious connection, because I have traveled here carrying my future consciousness, I can laugh and be grateful for the miracle of our bond. The superball that I reached to find way back in the deep pantry, really was magical. It propelled me to reach and find my younger self and my  son’s younger self,  back there in the deep pantry of memory.

This flash fiction was generated at Juice, the weekly write-to-a-prompt group I started here with a friend in January. This morning’s prompt was “Reaching into the Back of the Pantry”. The prompt opened the back pantry of my imagination to receive the superball, and the superball opened the back pantry of memory. So fiction led to the deeper truth of creative nonfiction. Though there was no actual scene like this  with my son, the metaphor engendered by the prompt delivered me straight into the delightful core of our relationship!

La Luna, WeMoon 2018

Just received copies of the stunning 2018 WeMoon international datebook, in which three of my poems appear. Local friends, you can buy a spiral-bound one from me while they last, though I am sold out of the fabulous wall calendars. MotherTongue Ink of Wolf Creek Oregon has again outdone itself, and this year for the first time  there is a Spanish version as well.

Here’s Anne Newkirk Niven’s (Sage Woman Magazine) review: “If you love the Goddess (however you imagine Her) and want to follow the bodily, spiritual, astrological and lunar cycles of the year, WeMoon is for you. First published in 1981, the WeMoon women’s datebook is more than just a venerable institution: it is a yearly inspiration to explore our shared experience. 2018’s “La Luna” edition is more packed with wit and wisdom than ever. Both the classic datebook and the large format wall calendar are especially beautiful this year.”

Posada Invitation


On Friday September 15, I will be reading the beginning of a new piece called Las Tres Comadres, a Contemporary Legend from Lake Chapala. My twelve-minute slot at the microphone takes place at The Ajijic Writers Group meeting 10 AM, in the beautiful garden at La Nueva Posada (9 Donato Guerra).  Many non-writers often attend, simply to hear what the Ajijic writers are up to. I hereby invite all you local friends to drop by for a listen– would love to see you there!


Skipping, the  repost below, is from one year ago. Now that I live in Ajijic, Mexico, I’m on the lookout for buddies to Skip Along the Malecon.

Today at the beginning of a wonderful run along my beloved French Broad River, I skipped! One hundred times! Children, like lambs, grow quickly. Their tendons and ligaments feel great when stretched.  So when running, walking and playing, young children naturally skip, because it stretches their growing bodies, and makes them happy. And then there’s me, going on 70, feeling fit, but neither child nor lamb. Excited, though, about to start a new chapter in my life, stretching for it!

I’ve had the desire before. I admit it. My body has wanted to skip but I have held back. Because there were people around, because I was self-conscious. Sometimes I have skipped, just a bit, because I couldn’t help it, but this morning I really let it rip. Each rise, I kissed the sky; each touch of my foot to earth, I was grounded in the embrace of gravity. Ahh!

Skipping! It puts me in a state that nothing else does. Just try to be sad while you’re skipping. You can’t!! So what is this state of skipping? My feet are only doing part of it. The earth is doing the other part, pushing back to lift (my body and) spirits. Oh, I see. Skipping is an interactive activity— with Trampoline Earth!

Skipping. It makes a lamb, a child, and an elder, HAPPY.

Bonus, a vid to make you laugh:

Meet you on the Malecon–Let’s skip!